HANOI, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Bird flu has spread to two more provinces in northern Vietnam as of Sept. 14, making the total number of provinces infected with the disease to seven, local media reported on Friday.
In Tuyen Quang province, more than 17,600 infected fowls had been culled, a reporter of Vietnam's state-run News Agency told Xinhua on Friday.
He said bird flu first appeared in one commune in Son Duong district on Aug. 10, and as of Sept. 7 it spread to other nine communes in this district and Tuyen Quang provincial town.
To prevent the spreading of H5N1 virus, the province's Department of Animal Health has implemented strict measures in response to the epidemics, including establishing a Steering Committee for avian influenza epidemic prevention and control at all levels from district to commune, setting up mobile checkpoints to control illegal poultry transportation, killing infected poultry and stopping all poultry slaughtering, purchasing and transporting activities in the infected areas.
So far, the local authority has supplied 10,000 liters of disinfectant and 70 tons of lime powder to clean those areas having infected poultry. In addition, the national reserve support fund has provided the province with 250,000 doses of bird flu vaccines.
Nguyen Van Quang, a local resident in Yen Son district, which is close to the provincial town of Tuyen Quang, told Xinhua on Friday, that his family raises a flock of about 50 fowls. Thanks to his careful breeding, the flock is safe and growing well.
Meanwhile, in Hoa Binh province, four hamlets in two communes in Luong Son district have 1,140 infected fowls and 848 others died, reported local media on Wednesday. The local authority instructed the culling of all infected poultry and implemented measures to prevent the expanse of the disease.
According to the Department of Animal Health under the Vietnam' s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as of Sept. 12, bird flu has spread to seven provinces in Vietnam's northern and central regions including Ha Tinh, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, Bac Giang, Quang Ngai, Tuyen Quang and Hoa Binh.
In early September, the ministry released news that a new bird flu strain was developing unexpectedly in Vietnam and caused a big concern to the government and public.
According to the National Animal Health Diagnosis Center, the new strain of bird flu virus, which is suspected to have higher risk of causing human death than previously known ones, appeared in July and strongly spread in August in Vietnam's central and northern provinces.
The new strain was thought to belong to H5N1 - Clade 188.8.131.52, which is different from the two strains of A and B that appeared in Vietnam in 2011, due to its higher pathogenic risk.
Apart from the newly-found strain of the virus, the bird flu has developed unexpectedly in the country so far this year. Normally, avian influenza appears shortly before or after the traditional lunar Tet holidays, which often falls in late January and early February. However, it has appeared since July this year and fast spread with unexpected signs.
According to local experts, the epidemic would become more complicated once it reaches its peak in the coming months.
As of mid-September, four cases of A/H5N1 infection had been recorded with two deaths in Vietnam, but the new strain of bird flu virus has not yet been found in humans, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.